Mayor and Sir George launch sponsored bike ride
25 Jun 2011
The Mayor of TVBC Prof Paul Gateley GY Leah Robson Lorena Burlison
The Mayor of TVBC Prof Paul Gateley GY Leah Robson Lorena Burlison
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A sponsored bike ride went from Andover to Basingstoke, to raise awareness of the problems of obesity, and to raise funds for sufferers to go on a course at the Carnegie Summer Camp at Leeds to receive appropriate treatment.

The ride was organised by Leah Robson-Strange and her mother Marissa, as Leah benefitted herself from the course. Also on the bike ride was Professor Paul Gateley, The Director of Carnegie Weight Management from Apperley Bridge near Leeds, who had helped Leah in the past. the ride was launched by Sir George and the mayor, Cllr Zilliah Brooks and 13 riders set off. The rider was sponsored by Simply Health, a number of whose employees went on the ride.

This is an account of Leah's Day from her Blog:
"Well the day started off very grey and cloudy, which is good weather for cycling, we all met at the meeting point of Simply Health's car park, we had some local supporters as well as Sir George Young and the new May or Andover Cllr Zilliah Brook who herself sponsored Leah.

Prof Paul Gateley from Carnegie arrived early as well as the four supportive riders from Simply Health Bernie Hurn, Paul Butler, Mike Riley and Mary Hill.

Leah's personal trainer Andre Diurno and Colin Heaton the experienced cyclist arrived as well as Valley Leisure Chief Executive Kevin Paterson with their rider Louise Mcloud. They all had their photo taken from the Andover Advertiser.

Lorena Burlison from Andover young Carers also came along as Leah is a member of Andover Young Carers and they wanted to support her in her fight to get deducated help in this area.

They set off about 9.45am setting towards Whitchurch. They arrived in Whitchurch, making good time around 45 mins, we had two support cars following.

Once arriving at Testbourne School Mr Pegla the Deputy Head Teacher went and got loads of bananas and squash for refreshments for everyone he kindly donated.

Two of the Simply Health riders left the group to return to Andover as they had prior engagements as well as her sister Tyla.

After a brief rest stop the rest headed up Micheldever Road and took the back road to Laverstoke Football Club, then continued on into Overton.

Once at Overton, Glenn, Leah's dad had a puncture. We thought that was the end of the road for him, the rest headed towards the Overton hill as they call it (the killer).

Tom Peglar belted up that hill as this was his finish line. He did fantastic. He represented the school along with Mrs Lloyd, Head of P E and believed how with help children with weight issues can gain so much self confidence and learn better without issues.

Lea looked very tired but with the fantastic help they all encouraged Leah to keep going which she did.

They then went to Oakley then turned off at Pack Lane where they were so close to the finish. Leah's bike malfunctioned but bless her, after the team around her fixed the problem, she carried on. They finally made it at just after 12pm and Leah was overjoyed she had made it ...

We thought Glen, Leah's dad had given up but after about 20 minutes we heard a horn of a car and he came cycling around the corner. We were all shouting and cheering him on.

It was an amazing morning had by all and we all met someone new who had ideas of how we can possibly try to make a change.

We hope to create a 'Team of Change' so we can put our heads together and try to make a difference to our community.

Could Leah and I say publicly THANK YOU to Simply Health for their dedicated support and to Valley Leisure who have also shown support, adn to Andre Diurno for asking (Leah) to get her fitness up before the ride and for his participation too, also Mr Colin Heaton who without his expertise none of this could have happened."
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